Mr Eternity by Aaron Thier

 Source: Free review copy received from publisher

Five words from the blurb: Defoe, climate, change, exploration, absurdities

Mr Eternity is a bizarre book following the life of an immortal Daniel Defoe. It is set in 1560, 2016 and 2500 and shows how climate change destroys life as we know it.

I initially loved this book – its messages on climate change were powerful and having a single person live through these 1000 tumultuous years highlighted the differences/problems with society at each time point. Defoe’s mis-remembering of history also provided many opportunities for amusement and this brought up thought provoking questions about the way we recall past events.

The three eras each had their own specific dialect, which seemed convincing. Some readers may struggle to adapt to the changing tone, but I thought it worked really well. I especially liked the way that the people in the future highlighted how selfishly we treat the Earth’s resources and how good we have it now:

Tell me of New York I said it were a great city once that were plain. He said yes okay well there was Hurricane Devaun and the later the sea come up also there was drought everywhere too many people too many factors everyone in New York starved it were beyond belief. I said he did not understand me I did not mean stories like that but stories of the very good days when every man were a king with air condition Ferrari electronic lights ice cream toothpaste footballs steamy media.

In many ways Mr Eternity reminded me of books by David Mitchell – especially Ghostwritten. They share the same writing quality and insightful observations of humanity. The only real difference is that Thier’s books don’t contain any Japanese influence, concentrating instead on Western mythology.

Unfortunately the book failed to carry it’s impressive power through to the second half. It seemed to repeat itself and it had no plot to pull all the threads together. I longed for something to make me care about Defoe, or any of the other characters. Instead the reader remains a passive observer of the destruction, feeling no emotion at the terrible things happening everywhere.

Overall this book has much to recommend it. I’m sure that many people will love it, especially those who don’t need a strong plot, and I hope that the messages about our current abuse of the world are heard by a wide audience.

.

 


Send to Kindle

Leave a Reply